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On October 15, about 40 people, including students from UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, and Watsonville High School, as well as community members from Santa Cruz and Watsonville, came out to the Driscoll's Distribution Center and Berry Store in Aromas, California, to relay the message that the boycott of Driscoll's continues until Driscoll's negotiates a union contract with the farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico who harvest the lucrative berries. Currently, farmworkers receive as little as $6 a day for 12-15 hours of work, with no benefits or job security.
Sun Oct 30 2016 (Updated 10/31/16)
Geofeedia Exposed for Police Monitoring of Social Media
The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that markets to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters. After the ACLU reported their findings to the companies, some steps were taken to rein in Geofeedia. Further steps are required if these companies are to protect users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse.
It was 1966 when Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Initially, their goals were to make use of California's open-carry laws at the time to directly challenge police brutality in Oakland and to turn Black rebellion into political power. In little time, the party expanded nationwide, fed hundreds of thousands of children, and created free health clinics and a number of other social programs. October 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party.
Many long-time Bay Area residents have been displaced over the last several years. The median rent in Oakland is now $3,000 a month and heartless landlords are taking extreme measures to boost their profit at the expense of tenants. In one recent case, an East Palo Alto property owner and his son were arrested for a plot to push tenants out of rent-controlled units by destroying their property. Tenant advocates across the Bay Area urge voters to support the strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Mountain View.
Word got out that the Oakland Police Department had intentions to do neighborhood outreach in West Oakland on October 18. Knowing that OPD holds public relations events such as these to whitewash their earned reputation as racist, violent, and corrupt, the Anti Police-Terror Project set out to prevent OPD from exploiting local residents for a propagandistic photo op. As an unexpected bonus, a man's home was saved from being confiscated by the police.
Officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department shot and killed 32-year-old Sean Smith-Arlt outside of a home on the corner of Chace and Getchell Streets on the west side of Santa Cruz. Police have stated that Smith-Arlt, who was experiencing mental health issues, was advancing towards officers with a gardening rake when officers deemed him a threat and shot and killed him at about 3:30 am on October 16. In response, residents have organized a candle light vigil at the Town Clock in Santa Cruz for No Police Brutality Day on October 22.
Since August 26, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to sit and then kneel during the playing of the national anthem to protest racist police violence, at least dozens of more Black people have been murdered by the police. What is also intensifying is that more and more athletes are taking a visible stand against police brutality. Students at the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) have been particularly vocal about their opposition to a lack of police accountability and the unfair treatment of Black and Brown people at the hands of law enforcement.
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